“I wish to apologize to my teammates, my membership, my followers, and the town of [Yekaterinburg] for my mistake that I made and the embarrassment that I introduced to them,” Griner stated in her assertion. “I wish to additionally apologize to my mother and father, my siblings, the Phoenix Mercury group again at the house, the superb girls of the WNBA, and my superb partner again at house.”
Responding to her sentence, President Joe Biden slammed Russia for “wrongfully detaining” Griner, saying he would “pursue each potential avenue” to convey her house.
“It’s unacceptable, and I name on Russia to launch her instantly so she will be along with her spouse, family members, buddies, and teammates,” Biden stated in a statement. “My administration will proceed to work tirelessly and pursue each potential avenue to convey Brittney and Paul Whelan’s house safely as quickly as potential.”
WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver additionally launched a joint assertion condemning the decision.
“At present’s verdict and sentencing is unjustified and unlucky, however not sudden and Brittney Griner stays wrongly detained,” they stated. “The WNBA and NBA’s dedication to her secure return has not wavered and it’s our hope that we’re close to the top of this means of lastly bringing BG house to the US.”
Griner beforehand testified that she used hashish oil prescribed by her physician to deal with aches from sports activities and accidents, however, had packed her baggage in a rush and didn’t imply to convey them to Russia, the place she was taking part in within the WNBA offseason. “As they ended up in my baggage by chance, I take accountability, however, I didn’t intend to smuggle or plan to smuggle [illegal substances] to Russia,” she had testified on July 27.
“I made an honest mistake, and I hope that in your ruling, that it doesn’t end my life here.”
Take 8 minutes to watch WNBA star Brittney Griner’s powerful testimony from her jail cell ahead of her sentencing in Russian court. pic.twitter.com/XMBqOmqZi7
— The Recount (@therecount) August 4, 2022
Griner additionally complained that her rights were not read to her when she was first arrested and that she didn’t obtain the correct translation companies in the course of the investigation.
In a letter written to Biden final month, Griner stated she was “terrified” she is likely to be held in a Russian jail ceaselessly.
“I notice you’re coping with a lot, however, please don’t overlook me and the opposite American Detainees,” she stated. “Please do all you may to convey us house.”
Colas, Griner’s agent, stated they appreciated the Biden administration’s efforts to convey basketball star and Whelan again to the US.
“Bringing Brittney and Paul house is the only goal, and as such, we must always use all out their instruments,” Colas stated. “We should stay targeted and unified. This can be a time for compassion and a shared understanding that getting a deal executed to convey Individuals house shall be exhausting, however, it’s pressing and it’s the proper factor to do.”